Hemitragus jemlahicus is native to the southern flanks of the Himalaya Mountains from northern India east to Bhutan, as far north as Tibet. It has been widely introduced elsewhere for hunting. After introduction to New Zealand in 1904 it spread to all the suitable habitat there. There are also introducted populations in New Mexico, California, Ontario, and South Africa.
(Forsyth and Hickling 1998; Kingel; Tustin 1990; Williams 2001)
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Introduced ); australian (Introduced )
In China, tahr appear to be found in only in a few spots along the southern Tibet border near Qubuo river, extending south into the Himalayas and can be expected in extreme western Tibet adjacent to known populations in India (Wang 1998, Smith and Xie 2008). In India, the Himalayan tahr occurs in timberline regions across the southern forested slopes of the Himalaya from Jammu and Kashmir to Sikkim (Sathyakmuar 2002). It is patchily distributed from south-central Kashmir, eastward through the southern part of Kulu District (Himachal Pradesh) between 2,000 and 3,270 m (Gaston et al., 1981, 1983), and more widely present at similar elevations through northern Uttarakhand to the Nepalese border. Small numbers are also found in east and west Sikkim near the borders with Nepal and Bhutan. Formerly the Himalayan tahr had a continuous distribution throughout Nepal between 1,500 and 5,200 m, but this is now being increasingly disrupted by activities related to human encroachment (Green, 1978, 1979). Tahr inhabits temperate to sub-alpine forests up to treeline, between 2500 and 5,200 m. Schaller (1977) mapped fourteen locations of tahr, and there are undoubtedly more. There are no recent, credible reports of tahr from Bhutan (T. Wangchuk pers. comm., 2008), though it possibly occurs in the extreme west of the country.
occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: Himalayan region from Kashmir through northern India to Nepal and Sikkim; southern Tibet. Introduced in New Zealand, South Africa, and California (Nowak 1991; Grubb, in Wilson and Reeder 1993).
Hemitragus jemlahicus has relatively short legs and a small head. Males are large than females. Males average 73 kg in weight while females average 36 kg. Their hooves are well-adapted for their mountain habitat, with a hard rim of keratin surrounding a soft spongy convex pad. These hooves and strong dewclaws allow them to be excellent climbers.
The adult male in winter has a dark face and muzzle, sides and hindquarters black to red-brown, a reddish rump patch, and a lighter underside. It has a thick ruff or mane around its neck and shoulders and down its front legs. Older males are darker, with a light band along the flanks and a dark mid-dorsal line. The mane may be as long as 250 cm and is slate grey to straw-colored. The adult female in winter is grey to brown with a darker muzzle and legs and a light underside. The summer coat in adults of both sexes is shorter and lighter brown to straw-colored. Young are uniformly brown except for the front of their legs, which are black.
Both sexes have horns which curve up, back, and then in. They are laterally flattened, triangular in cross-section, and have a keel on the front edge. Males have longer horns (up to 450 mm) than females (up to 190 mm).
(Forsyth 1998; Huffman; Tustin 1990)
Range mass: 36 to 90 kg.
Range length: 90 to 140 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry
In the Himalayas, Hemitragus jemlahicus prefers rugged wooded hills and mountains slopes in the subalpine and alpine regions from 3500-4500 meters in elevation. It may also seasonally use mixed oak forests as low as 2500 meters and alpine meadows as high as 5000 meters.
In New Zealand H. jemlahicus lives on grassy mountain slopes, large rock bluff systems, snow tussok basins, and the uppermost subalpine scrubland from 750-2250 meters in elevation. It prefers north and north-east facing slopes, which are sunnier and have less snow accumulation in the winter.
(Klingel; Tustin 1990)
Range elevation: 750 to 5000 m.
Habitat Regions: temperate
Terrestrial Biomes: scrub forest ; mountains
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: Rugged hills and mountain slopes; mainly on wooded slopes (Nowak 1991).
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Hemitragus jemlahicus has had a significant negative effect on the native flora of New Zealand, which has no native herbivores. During the winter it eats less due to poor food quality and high metabolic costs. It eats alpine herbs and subalpine scrubland plants.
(Forsyth 1998; Forsyth, Parkes, and Hickling 2000; Huffman; Tustin 1990)
Plant Foods: leaves
Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore )
Hemitragus jemlahicus has had a significant negative affect on the native flora of New Zealand, which has no native herbivores.
(Forsyth 1998; Forsyth, Parkes, and Hickling 2000; Tustin 1990)
Ecosystem Impact: biodegradation
- snow leopards (Uncia uncia)
This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
In New Zealand, population density was 4.5-6.8 per sq km; in natural (native?) habitat, travels in herds of 2-23 individuals (Nowak 1991).
Life History and Behavior
Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical
Normal lifespan is 10-14 years, although individuals up to 22 years old have been reported. Females live longer than males. Accidental death due to rock slides or avalanches is not uncommon.
(Huffman; Pare, Barrette, and Prescott 1996; Tustin 1990)
Status: captivity: 22 (high) years.
Status: wild: 10 to 14 years.
Status: wild: 10 years.
Status: captivity: 21.8 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
In the Himalayas, the rut runs from mid-October to mid-January. In New Zealand, the rut runs from April to July and peaks in May or early June. The difference in breeding season is due the six-month shift in seasons between the northern and southern hemispheres. Captive animals that are transplated to the opposite hemisphere shift their breeding cycles in two years or less. During the rut, younger males will follow groups of females and attempt, generally unsuccessfully, to mate with any female. Older males will follow and defend individual oestrus females. The mating display consists of a male standing facing a female, at a right angle to her, with his head and muzzle high and his mane erect and hiding his horns. This is followed by a series of head nods and brief copulation. The competitive display involves two males walking stiffly parallel to each other, with their mane and dorsal ridge erect, their heads down, and their horns exposed. The victor will either move to block the path of his opponent or chase him away. Only rarely does the competitive display lead to direct head-to-head wrestling, which in Hemitragus jemlahicus has been described as "half-hearted" relative to other horned or antlered mammals.
(Forsyth 1998, Forsyth and Hickling 1998, Huffman; Pare, Barrette, and Prescott 1996, Tustin 1990)
Mating System: polygynous
Females leave their groups to give birth. The kid is able to nurse within a few minutes and can walk within three hours. Mother and kid return to the group after a few days. Twins are very rare in the wild, but occur more frequently in captivity. In the Himalayas, births occur from mid-April to mid-July. In New Zealand, the median birth date is 30 November. Females are fecund at 2 years. Captive females can concieve at up to 18 years old, although they rarely live that long in the wild. Males are fecund at 2 years, but rarely have successful access to females until 4 years old.
(Forsyth 1998; Haysen, van Tienhoven, and van Tienhoven 1993; Pare, Barrette, and Prescott 1996; Tustin 1990)
Breeding season: births in April-July (spring-summer)
Range number of offspring: 1 to 2.
Average number of offspring: 1.01.
Range gestation period: 6 (low) months.
Average gestation period: 6 months.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 2 to 6 years.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2 to 6 years.
Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); viviparous
Average birth mass: 2000 g.
Average number of offspring: 1.
Young stay in their mothers group until two years old, when the males disperse to form male-only groups. Females do not disperse.
Parental Investment: altricial ; female parental care ; post-independence association with parents
In the Himalayas, mating season is from mid-October to mid-January; in captivity, has lived nearly 22 years (see Nowak 1991).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Hemitragus jemlahicus
No available public DNA sequences.
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hemitragus jemlahicus
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
In its native habitat, Hemitragus jemlahicus now survives only as remnant populations due to hunting and habitat loss. In areas where it was introduded, it is doing well, but is often heavily managed.
(Forsyth, Parkes, and Hickling 2000; Tustin 1990)
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: near threatened
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Vulnerable(Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
- 1994Insufficiently Known(Groombridge 1994)
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
For China, there are no estimates of numbers, but the population is thought to be small, and only a few have been observed in the field (Feng et al., 1986). Wang (1998) thought that perhaps 400-500 occurred within China. No total population estimate is available for India, although recent counts include about 130 individuals in the Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary and greater than 100 in the Great Himalayan National Park, both in Himachal Pradesh (Gaston et al., in press; S. Pandey pers. comm.). Density estimates include 2.3/km² in the Daranghati Sanctuary (Himachal Pradesh) (S. Pandey pers. comm.), and 17/km² in part of Kedernath Wildlife Sanctuary (Uttar Pradesh) (S. Sathyakumar pers. comm.). It is probably declining in India (Y. V. Bhatnagar pers. comm. 2008). There is evidence to suggest that considerable local extinctions have taken place. The species may be close to extirpation in the western limit of its distribution in Jammu and Kashmir. The entire population reported north of the Chenab River from Kisthwar to the Banihal pass is believed to be extinct. Very small populations survive in the Bani-Sarthal areas of the Kathua district and the Kisthwar NP in Kisthwar-Doda districts. There are no available estimates for the total Nepalese population of tahr. Green (1978) estimated their ecological density in Langtang National Park to be between 6.8 to 25.0 tahr/km², and Bauer (1988) estimated a combined minimum number of 1,000 tahr for Sagamartha, Makalu-Barun (and Conservation Area) and Langtang National Parks.
Within China, it occurs in Qomolangma Nature Reserve on the Sino-Nepal border. Conservation measures proposed for China include undertaking a survey and census to determine the species’ distribution and status.
In India, protected areas with Himalayan tahr (Gaston et al., 1981, 1983; Green, 1987b; Kathayat and Mathur 2002) include: Jammu and Kashmir – Kishtwar National Park (locally threatened); Himachal Pradesh - Great Himalayan National Park (confirmed), and Daranghati (locally threatened), Gamgul Siahbehi, Kanawar, Khokhan, Kugti, Manali (locally threatened or extinct), Rupi Bhaba, Sechu Tuan Nala, Tirthan and Tundah (locally threatened) Wildlife Sanctuaries; Uttarakhand -Nanda Devi and (probably) Valley of Flowers National Parks, Govind Pashu Vihar and Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Sikkim - Khangchendzonga National Park. Himalayan tahr occurs in a very narrow band along timberline areas in the Himalaya, and although still present over much of its historical range, the lack of population data precludes a satisfactory status designation within its relatively restricted range. It appears, however, that the species is capable of using rugged forested slopes with temperate oak and pine forests, well below the timberline area where it is now found. This suggests that it current range distribution may reflect displacement from formerly used lower elevation areas. As well, much of its current distribution lies outside the network of protected areas. Conservation measures proposed for India: 1) Extend the Great Himalayan National Park as proposed. 2) Establish the proposed Srikhand National Park (Himachal Pradesh) 3) Devise innovative community based reserves for the species outside Pas (these need to include community based protection, tourism, awareness, etc).
Probably a significant proportion of Nepal’s tahr populations occur within protected areas, but it is also believed to be widespread in smaller, scattered populations outside reserves. The species is known to occur in Langtang, Lake Rara, Sagamartha, Makalu-Barun (and Conservation Area) and Shey-Phoksundo National Parks, in the Annapurna Conservation Area, and in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve. It may also occur in Khaptad National Park in the Midlands (Bauer, 1988). Conservation measures proposed for Nepal: As with blue sheep, 1) maintain the current, closely controlled, legal hunting program, and 2) consider a regulated program of low-level subsistence hunting by local villagers. 3) It will also be necessary to study the impact of the increasing fragmentation of tahr populations. The first steps to address this issue would be to begin in selected areas by mapping tahr habitat features such as cliffs (using 1:50,000 topographic maps), followed by ground surveys to validate the species’ presence/absence.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Hemitragus jemlahicus has had a significant negative affect on the native flora of New Zealand, which has no native herbivores.
(Forsyth 1998; Forsyth, Parkes, and Hickling 2000; Tustin 1990)
Hemitragus jemlahicus is widely hunted for sport and trophies. It is also hunted for meat.
(Davys, Forsyth, and Hickling 1998; Forsyth 1998)
Positive Impacts: food ; body parts are source of valuable material
Comments: Subject to sport and commercial hunting in New Zealand (see Nowak 1991).
|It has been suggested that Shapi be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2014.|
The Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) is a large ungulate native to the Himalayas in southern Tibet, northern India and Nepal. It is listed as Near Threatened by IUCN, as the population is declining due to hunting and habitat loss.
- 1 Taxonomy and etymology
- 2 Physiology
- 3 Ecology in native habitat
- 4 Introduction as an invasive Species
- 5 Success as an invasive species
- 6 Impact as an invasive species
- 7 Control methods
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Taxonomy and etymology
The word "tahr" comes from the Nepali language and was first used in English writing in 1835. Tahrs belong to the order Artiodactyla, which denotes an even-toed ungulate mammal. Close relatives to the Himalayan tahr also associated to the Caprinae subfamily include sheep and goats.
The Himalayan tahr has a small head, small pointed ears, large eyes, and horns that vary between males and females. Their horns reach a maximum length of 46 centimetres (18 in). Himalayan tahrs are sexually dimorphic, with females being smaller in weight and in size and having smaller horns. The horn is curved backwards, preventing injury during mating season when headbutting is a common mating ritual among males. The average male tahr usually weighs around 73 kg with females averaging 36 kg and is shorter in height than in length The exterior of a tahr is well adapted to the harsh climate of the Himalayans. They sport thick, reddish wool coats and thick undercoats, indicative of the conditions of their habitat. Their coats thin with the end of winter and becomes lighter in color. This shedding is presumably an adaptation that allows their internal body temperatures to adjust to the harsh temperatures of the Himalayan Mountains.
As a member of the ungulate group of mammals, the Himalayan tahr possesses an even number of toes. They have adapted the unique ability to grasp both smooth and rough surfaces that are typical of the mountainous terrain on which they reside. This useful characteristic also helps their mobility. The hooves of the tahr have a rubber-like core which allows for gripping smooth rocks while keratin at the rim of their hooves allow increased hoof durability, which is important for traversing the rocky ground. This adaptation allows for confident and swift maneuvering of the terrain.
The lifespan of a Himalayan tahr typically ranges around 14 or 15 years, with females living longer than males. The oldest known Himalayan tahr lived to 22 years old in captivity.
Tahrs are polygynous, and males are subject to stiff competition for access to females. Young reproductive males roam and mate opportunistically (when larger males are not present), while more mature males (more than four years old) will engage in ritualistic behavior and fighting to secure mates. During mating season, reproductive males lose much of their fat reserves, while females and nonreproductive males do not, indicating a substantial cost to these behaviors. Factors that contribute to which males dominate include size, weight, and testosterone levels. Interestingly, coat color can have an effect; Himalayan tahrs with lighter coats are more likely to gain access to estrous females  Himalayan tahrs have precocious young which can stand soon after birth. Females have a gestation period of 180–242 days, usually with a litter size of only one kid. This indicates sexual selection can be extremely important to the fitness of males.
The herbivorous diets of the Himalayan tahrs leave them spending most of their time grazing on grasses and browsing on leaves and some fruits. Their short legs allow them to balance while reaching for the leaves of shrubs and small trees. The tahr consumes more woody plants than herb species with as much as 75% of the tahr diet consisting of natural grasses. The tahr, like most members of the bovid family, are ruminants and have complex digestive systems . A multichambered stomach allows the tahr to repeatedly regurgitate its food, chew it, and obtain nutrients from otherwise indigestible plant tissues.
Ecology in native habitat
The Himalayan tahr is adapted to life in a cool climate with rocky terrain, which allows them to be found in mountainous areas. In the Himalayas, they are mainly found on slopes ranging from 2,500 to 5,000 m. Himalayan tahr can eat a wide variety of plants. They most often inhabit locations in where vegetation is exposed for browsing and grazing. During the winter (when snow covers vegetation at higher elevations), they are found on lower-altitude slopes.
During the rut, male Himalayan tahrs often compete with other males for access to females. Factors that contribute to reproductive success include large body size, large horn size, and high aggression. Coat color is a factor that determines rank among Himalayan tahrs, and males with light coats mate more often. In addition, the horns of the male are often used in the ritual process to court female tahrs (either for display purposes or, less often, for direct combat), although these horns can also serve as a defense mechanisms against potential predators.
Other ungulate herbivores with overlapping natural ranges include bharal, argali, and goral. Removal experiments (in which one of the hypothesized competitors is removed, and the effect on the other species is observed) have not been conducted to determine empirically that competition is actually occurring, but the animals do share food resources. Competition can occur when two or more species share a limited resource, such as particular food sources, in a given area. Since the Himalayan tahr and the other ungulates are eating the same foods, competition possibly is occurring among them.
Tahr are preyed upon by Himalayan Snow Leopards. The snow leopards also eat the other ungulate species in the area, which could result in apparent competition between the Himalayan tahr and one or more of the other herbivores. Apparent competition can occur when two species share a predator. If an increase in one of the prey species increases the predator population, this can translate into increased predation on the other prey species. This is called apparent competition, because the effect was indirect from the two prey species via the predator species rather than by direct competition of the two prey species for some shared resource.
Introduction as an invasive Species
The tahr was introduced into Argentina in 2006 by private individuals, presumably for hunting purposes. The importation has been deemed successful, but it is too soon to determine whether it will be detrimental to the environment.
Tahrs was first introduced to New Zealand for sport and have since expanded rapidly into neighboring areas. They currently occupy a portion of the Southern Alps and are still being hunted as a sport.
The Himalayan tahr was introduced to South Africa when in the 1930s, two Himalayan tahrs escaped from a zoo in Cape Town. Subsequent populations of tahrs have descended from the original escaped pair and spread quickly over the Cape Peninsular mountain range. Most of the population has been culled to make way for the reintroduction of the indigenous antelope, the klipspringer.
The Himalayan tahr is present in New Mexico which would probably indicate it can also be found in other southwestern states. According to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish news release dated May 28, 2014, "Only one Wildlife Management Area, Water Canyon, allows hunting for nongame species as a management tool for the non-native Himalayan tahr, a large ungulate related to the wild goat."
Success as an invasive species
A key factor contributing to the success of the Himalayan tahr as an invasive species is their mobility. During the night, they move to locations with lower elevations to have better access to resources such as food and water, whereas during the day, they move to locations with higher elevation to rest and avoid predators. This mobile behavior not only allows them to seek refuge from predators, but also allows them to have access to resources over a large area.
Another key characteristic that allows Himalayan tahr to be successful as an invasive species is their digestive tract. Their digestive system allows them to consume a wide variety of vegetation ranging from easy-to-digest leaves/grasses to woody shrubs and other “tough” vegetation not as easily digested by other species. This flexibility in diet not only allows Himalayan tahr to have a competitive advantage for resource use in their environment among other species, but it also allows them to be less hindered by abiotic disruptions and other natural disasters. In other words, their ability to digest a large range of vegetation allows the Himalayan tahr to have a bigger fundamental niche, and as a result, increases their success as an invasive species.
Lastly, the Himalayan tahr lacks predators in the regions where it has been introduced, so is only limited by access to food and water, and its own reproductive rate.
Impact as an invasive species
A negative impact the Himalayan tahrs have on their environment is increased herbivory on the native vegetation of the ecosystem, which can make it harder for other herbivores to find food. The increased herbivory can also lead to a decrease in soil nutrients, such as oxygen, nitrates, and ammonia, resulting in positive feedback loop, making it harder for plants to grow at all. Consequently, the natural fauna of the ecosystem is heavily affected. For example, endangered camelids were forced to adapt and move to higher elevations due to the increased herbivory from the Himalayan tahr. This increase has also resulted in poor soil quality in many environments occupied by the Himalayan tahr and has severely limited the presence of certain plant species. The lack of certain vegetation, in turn, may affect animal species that rely on them as a food source.
Data on the rapid expansion of the tahr are documented by government agencies. Over a time span of 16 years, the Himalayan tahr reached up to 33 tahr/km2 in New Zealand - twice the initial population (2*N0). Without regulated hunting or the presence of natural barriers, the Himalayan tahr can pose a large threat to the indigenous fauna and flora populations within the area.
In 1930, the tahr was denied protection by the Animals Protection and Game Act (1921–22) and was thus recognized as a danger to the environment (although the species is still considered to be endangered in the Himalayas by the World Conservation Union). Since 1937, various government operations have been undertaken to reduce tahr population and/or keep it at fixed numbers. The control of tahr remains ecologically and economically significant because of their widespread destruction of native flora and fauna and their valuable capture for hunters, respectively.
Control by hunting
In 1933, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation prepared the Himalayan Tahr Control Plan which lists “aerial game recovery operations, recreational and safari hunting as primary means of control”. Under the plan, the area of the tahr distribution was divided into two exclusion zones and seven management units. The exclusion zones set boundaries on the area that the tahr inhabits, with the official control operations to be employed to prevent them from spreading beyond those zones. The management unit has a fixed maximum density, which varies from 1-2.5 tahr/km2 and is considered to be low enough to have a minimal negative impact on the ecosystem and, even, restore native vegetation. Under these conditions, the plan aimed to keep tahr numbers below 10,000 throughout the South Island. Since then, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation has been actively advertising tahr hunting and has created 59 tahr-hunting areas. Hunting remains primary means of control of the invasive species; government operations have killed more than 24,000 tahrs by shooting  since 1933. As a primary method of tahr population control (although hard to quantify), hunting seems to be an efficient strategy because a large number of people take part in it. In general, hunting is a good method of biological control because it has a direct impact on tahr population and minimal indirect consequences on the surrounding ecology.
Control by poisoning
In 1960, sodium monofluoroacetate (also known as compound 1080) was used to poison tahrs. This derivative of fluoroacetic acid is commonly used in many countries such as Mexico, Australia, the United States, and New Zealand as a pesticide. Compound 1080 is highly water-soluble and is diluted by rainwater and broken down by aquatic microorganisms. Water samples after baiting operations did not reveal dangerous levels of the compound. In the soil, sodium monofluoroacetate is converted by bacteria and fungi to metabolic products, shown to be nonhazardous to the environment.
According to Australia’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment, mammals (particularly cats and dogs) are the most susceptible to compound 1080 poisoning. Fish, birds, and amphibians generally are highly tolerant to the poison. Although compound 1080 is a strong enough pesticide to eradicate the entire tahr population, political pressures from hunter groups hinder its use. Opposition by the general public also contributes to the decreased use of 1080 with concerns that the accumulation of 1080 at higher levels of the food chain will pose danger to mammals such as dogs, deer and pigs.
Current control method
The success of the Tahr Control Plan, as well as the future of tahr in New Zealand, can be seen from the report prepared by Kenneth F.D. Hughey and Karen M. Wason, which presents survey results conducted among farmers living within tahr distribution. As they demonstrate, roughly 80% of farmers view tahrs as a resource, not as a threat. The respondents indicated they place conservational and commercial value (live animal/meat, hunting, farming) on tahrs. Thirty six percent of these farmers also reported to having earned at least $1,000 a year in profit from having tahrs on their property, with the highest earnings being above $50,000 (Table 5.5 of that study), usually as a result of allowing professionally guided hunters on their property. Also, a 1988 study showed that hunters spent $851 per person per year on hunting, with expenses being greatest for big-game targets, such as the Himalayan tahr. The fact that the tahr is no longer viewed by general public as an unwanted species may indicate their numbers are now successfully reduced to an acceptable range. This reflects the Department of Conservation’s efforts to promote tahr hunting, consistent monitoring for the trends in tahr population, and official control operations. In New Zealand alone, an estimated $840M have been spent on alien species per year (0.9% of GNP), 25% being towards vertebrate mammals. Of these total costs, $400 M have been dedicated to defense against the invasive species. If conditions maintain, “the total cost of alien vertebrates in New Zealand may therefore exceed $270 million per year”. However, as shown above, these costs may come along with some negative environmental effects on native ecosystems.
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Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Hemitragus jemlahicus, H. jayakari, and H. hylocrius sometimes have been regarded as only subspecifically distinct, but jemlahicus and hylocrius differ greatly in chromosome number, and most recent authroities have regarded all three taxa as full species (Nowak 1991; Grubb, in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005).
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